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Dancing Molly! A Trio of Lady Pirates Make a Fool of Virginia’s Governor, 1883

The thrilling race that unfolded in a bayside cove on Virginia’s Eastern Shore of Virginia on the last day of February day in 1883 was a cops-and-robbers affair. The steamboat that barreled into that cove was under the personal command of Virginia's governor. His target was a sailing sloop suspected of nefarious criminal activity. It should have been easy. The sloop’s crew had gone ashore…
From the BooksWay Back Machine

When a Bunch of Birds Lost their Minds and Attacked Hog Island Light in 1900

NOTE: This is one of the fun stories from my book, You Wouldn’t Believe! 44 Strange and Wondrous Delmarva Tales. You can find more information about the book–including how and where to buy it–at this link. The scene that unfolded on a late-winter night in 1900 on Hog Island was straight out of the Alfred Hitchcock classic The Birds. A flurry of unusual avian activity…
Tubman TravelsWay Back Machine

A Mother/Son Love Story: Young Fred Bailey Gets His First Taste of Freedom

This is an excerpt from a chapter in my book, Tubman Travels: 32 Underground Railroad Journeys on Delmarva. The book tells true-life tales of brave souls who made their way to freedom during slavery times on the Delmarva Peninsula. Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman are here. So, too, are many other, lesser-known heroes. The book not only tells their stories--it helps modern-day travelers follow in…
From the BooksWay Back Machine

The Great Eastern Shore Deep Freeze of 1976-77!

NOTE: This is one of the fun stories from my book, You Wouldn't Believe! 44 Strange and Wondrous Delmarva Tales. You can find more information about the book--including how and where to buy it--at this link. Deep freezes used to be commonplace affairs on the Delmarva Peninsula. Newspapers and diaries from the 1700s, 1800s, and 1900s are stippled with reports of cold spells so deep…
From the BooksWay Back Machine

FOLKLORE! Girls Are Bad Luck on New Year’s Day

NOTE: This is an excerpt from my book, You Wouldn't Believe! 44 Strange and Wondrous Delmarva Tales. It's in a section of several stories about bits of folklore. Find out more about You Wouldn't Believe (and my other books) here. I first learned about this strange tradition regarding girls and New Year's Day on the Secrets of the Eastern Shore Facebook page, thanks to a…
Way Back Machine

Tis the Season! The 15 Most Popular Stories of 2021

Without further ado, I present to you the 15 most popular stories on this website during 2021, as measured by the number of page views each got during the year. 15: Love Point on Kent Island: A Valentine’s Memory from Days Gone By Here's the link. 14: The Fall of an “Ancient Warrior:” The Cape Henlopen Lighthouse Collapses, 1926 Here's the link. 13: The St.…
Way Back Machine

Merry Christmas, Joe Taylor! An Old Black Man Gets His 15 Minutes of Fame, 1955

We’ve all met someone like Joe Taylor. He’s that old guy who wanders the streets. He’s poor, but he’s not homeless, and he’s not begging. He just loves to talk with other people. He’s always on the lookout for a mark who might listen. He’s convinced that his life story is fascinating. He believes deep down that his memories make for spellbinding conversation. Make eye…